Singer Robbie Williams Says Prescription Drug Addiction Almost Killed Him
British singer Robbie Williams has revealed that his prescription drug addiction almost killed him. The 35-year-old told German magazine Stern that he only sought treatment when “death came knocking” on his door.
“It was damn serious. Death had to knock on my door to help me with my decision,” Williams said, admitting that he was still haunted by fears of relapsing, despite being clean for three years.
“I’m aware I have a self-destructive character, but does this hold me back from being happy? No,” he said.
The singer is making a comeback with a new single, Bodies, out on October 12, and a performance on The X Factor.
He’s long battled drug addiction. Two years ago, he spent his 33rd birthday in a drug treatment clinic in Arizona. At the time, his mother Jan described his addiction as a “living hell”.
Robbie began experimenting with illegal substances when he was 16 and first tried LSD during a night out in his hometown, Stoke-on-Trent.
While under the influence of the drug, “American footballs were coming out of the TV,” he said, “So I decided to go downstairs and stab myself. Mum came out of her room and said, ‘What are you doing?’” He told his mother, “I’m just going downstairs to stab myself–do you want a cup of tea?’
After he left the band Take That, Robbie said musician Elton John “kidnapped” him to seek help for his problems with drugs and alcohol.
Williams wrote in his book, Feel, that Sir Elton John drove him to a clinic in 1997 after watching him binge on heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy.
“I was sandwiched by two people in the back of the car so I wouldn’t try to commit suicide or run off,” he remembers.
The singer said the rehab staff treated him like a “naughty boy” and told him to write everything he was addicted to so he wrote everything he’d taken: “Heroin, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, amyl nitrate, speed.”
Robbie says that today, girlfriend Ayda Field has changed his life. “I’m now in love with someone who returns this love as strongly as I love her. I’ve never experienced that before. That’s what makes me so careful in this relationship, because I don’t want to hurt Ayda.”